Conservation and Rare Status

Welcome to our page discussing the Irish Draught as a rare breed. Here we will attempt to keep you up do date with information on this important topic.

Jan. 2007 - Use this link to the RDS Irish Draught Horse Breed Conservation Final Report (Jan 2007) Titled "The Development of a Sustainable Breeding Programme for the Irish Draught Horse" by Dr. Francis Kearney; Irish Cattle Breeding Federation.
It can be downloaded from their site, www.irishdraught.ie

Feb. 2006 - The following paragraph is quoted directly from the "Report to The Irish Draught Horse Society, Ireland" prepared at the Animal Genomics Laboratory, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, College of Life Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland; by Angela McGahern, Patrick Brophy, David MacHugh & Emmeline Hill and released in February of 2006.

"The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations classifies the Irish Draught (ID) horse as an endangered breed due to the declining population size. Falling purebred numbers, combined with a serious threat of genetic erosion, suggest that the ID population is in urgent need of conservation. Genetic diversity is an important component in the consideration of conservation strategies and measures of genetic diversity are becoming widely used in breed management systems. The Irish Draught Horse Society must now identify and preserve its rare bloodlines and explore the genetic resources available to preserve the broadest possible genetic base."

We encourage you to explore the entire McGahern Genetic IDHS Report.

Dec 2005 - The McGahern Genetic IDHS report was preceded by an interim report released in December of 2005. You may view this IDHS Breed Preservation Plan Interim Report from Dec 2005 (be forewarned, this is a large report, originally 9.5M - reduced to 3 - and may require much time or a high-speed connection).